London’s Must-See Historical Churches
St. Pancras Old Church
Just behind St Pancras station is St. Pancras Old Church with its own public garden. It has been recognised as a parish since the 9th century, when its location was thought more of a village outside of London, than being part of the great city, thus owing to the peaceful feeling about the area. Although originally thought to have been built during medieval times, it has a real Victorian exterior look about it owing to the 1847 renovations under-taken by architects Gough and Roumieu. During the 18th-century the church was chiefly used for burials. In 1726 the churchyard was enlarged by taking in an adjoining plot of land called the Pindle. Again in 1792 additional land to the north was purchased and added to the existing burial ground. The church holds the splendid tomb of Sir John Soane, the celebrated architect of the Lincolns Inn Fields Museum and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.
St. Pancras Old Church, Pancras Rd, Camden Town NW1 1UL
© Photo © Peter Trimming (cc-by-sa/2.0)
Originally built around 1100, this Grade I listed building suffered severe damage in the Great Fire of London, 1666. Instead of rebuilding the church, the people decided to rather just patch up the damage and a new steeple and tower was added in 1695-1701 by Sir Christopher Wren. Although the tower and steeple survived the bombing, it was during the Blitz of 1941 that caused even more damage to this building. After WWII, during the re-organisation of the Anglican Church, it was decided not to rebuild the church. In 1967 the City of London decided to turn the remains into a public garden, which opened in 1970, a perfect place to feel calm and tranquil in a bustling city.
St Dunstan in the East, St Dunstan’s Hill, London, EC3R 5DD
Photo: David Lliff
St. Bartholomew the Great
Founded by Rahere, a former jester at Henry I’s court, this priory can be found behind St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. In 1420, the hospital and priory separated from the church. The church fell to ruins due to the lack of funds to help with its upkeep. Today, St. Bartholomew-the-Great’s dark interior is laden with a great stone choir, along with a row of massive pillars supporting its round arches. The church serves as an excellent example of Norman architecture, and has been seen in various films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Shakespeare in Love, amongst others.
St. Bartholomew the Great, Cloth Fair, London EC1A 7JQ